Defence

Is BECA a game changer for India?

By ET news

Finally BECA

The BECA is all about the exchange of Geo-spatial Intelligence (GEOINT) information for the military as well as the government. For the collection and processing of GEOINT information, the US shall exchange technical information related to the specifications, methods, and formats. This information is very precise and accurate.

On the other hand, the Indian Army’s Survey General’s shortcomings in providing accurate maps even for regions within India has not been found to be adequate for digitisation and data fusion related work. The conversion of previously collected Geo data prior to World Geodetic Survey 1984(WGS84), i.e. Reference Datum implementation was slow and error-prone in implementation.

The GIS systems advanced at a rapid technological pace, while Military Survey General could not keep pace with such advancements, rendering their database inaccurate and bereft of correction updates. US GEOINT information made available under the aegis of BECA Agreement shall now fill this gap.

It allows both countries to share all kinds of military information such as geomagnetic and gravity data, maps, nautical and aeronautical charts, commercial and other unclassified imagery. While most information shared will be unclassified, there are provisions for sharing classified information like sensitive satellite and sensor data, with safeguards to prevent it from being shared with any third party.

BECA enables supply of high-end equipment as well as real-time intelligence and information, which will allow India to harness the American geo-spatial information and cause fusion of data with Indian Fire Support Systems so as to hit enemy targets with pinpoint accuracy. The signing of these agreements is mandatory, under American law, for the US to enter military alliances related to the export of sensitive equipment.

In view of these three pacts, Indian defence planners will need to review their Long term Integrated Perspective Plans (LTIPP) again although the ‘LTIPP’ was revised only in 2019. A greater focus towards defence organisational reforms and some serious investments in multi-functional C4I systems at Tri-services level could be some of the force multipliers needed to be planned for.

The real time Information assimilation now available to the Indian Military will outclass the present capabilities of the PLA. A superior C4I2 can be exploited only, if instantaneous fusion of data can occur with the firing weapons to neutralize targets through Indian Precession Guided Munitions (PGMs) and long-range artillery/rockets/missiles. Thus the need for organisational reforms and absorption of niche technologies in the Indian Fire Support platforms and systems.

BECA Will Offset Asymmetry with China (to some extent).

All PLA deployments in Tibet across the LAC will become transparent to the Indian defence planners in real time. This is because the US Space Command is operational and has a global watch in real time due to its extensive satellite network. The US space domination is beyond the reach of China.

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